I Gathered What I Needed


From things, tangible and intangible, I gather what I need. And then I walk under the blue sky, lighter in steps, unhindered and free. I am done paying my dues, and I am done fighting the battles. But I am done now, and as I lay down my arms, my mask, and my armour, I let the runners pass me by. They run past with their shiny badges, picking up speed. But then their road is not mine to take. Their lofty promises are not mine to make. Their goals, they weigh me down. Their shiny baubles, they blind my eyes. So, I shy away. But a few noble ones extend their hands magnanimously. I feel awed by their presence. I am dwarfed by their stature. I am grateful of this gesture, I say.

But I am done treading paths not mine, so, thanks, but I will stay.  Then they promise me a land of treasure and I assure them that I have treasures of own. Yes, those (irrelevant) gratitude notes, the (invaluable) hand-written letters and the (little) acts of kindness. They are confused by now but I carry on. I tell them of my valuable memories, my hefty faith, and my dazzlingly impossible dreams. I have indeed gathered what I need. And now I walk barefoot on this dusty road, free to believe, free to be. This race is yours, not mine, I tell them. The battles are yours, not mine. And this pace is yours, not mine. I have slowed down, and happily so. Run past me my friends, I say. I will surely cheer you on. Do share with me your stories someday. Oh yes, I will still be awed, and I will still be pleased! But if you decide to walk with me, then I will share with you, my peace.

 

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Colour me Slow


This mind, this fickle mind, it is dependent on these tiny changes around it. And yet it knows it not. It swirls with the events, happenings, and the teeny-weeny shifts. But it seldom registers and often forgets. Like it rode on the golden rays that burst from the window in the morning. It noticed the tiny drop of tea that trickled along the rounded cup. It smelled the waft of breakfast in the neighbour’s house, and it sighed happily when the dog settled at the feet rustling that page of newspaper that floated on its way to the floor. And yet it remembered nothing overtly. It just vaguely felt a happy feeling somewhere, completely intangible and, somewhat transient.

It stayed alert in that yoga session, it stayed silent through that repetitive song from the childhood and, it was filled with melancholy at the thought of a loved one lost. It went off course on a travel plan gone awry, and was agitated and full of angst when the normal and sedate routine was disrupted. It even feigned anger when confronted. And yet, it remembered nothing overtly. It just vaguely registered the anxiety in the periphery of its being.

However, when the day had run its course, it settled in to a sluggish state of slumber. It’s only then, with the wisdom of the one that has slowed down deliberately, it paused at each event and wondered why one is not mindful of these deceptively tiny changes that in reality, have the astounding power to change the energy of the universe. What’s the hurry to move on, it asked. Why is it that these seismic shifts and happenings go unnoticed? Is this why the wise preached mindfulness? Is this what I am missing? The knee-jerk reaction was to pause each event, and to analyse each emotion. It seemed painfully contrived. But, the restlessness had been initiated, and action was inevitable. That’s when ‘it’ and ‘I’ merged. Experience, I knew, was mandatory. Action, I knew, was necessary. However, reaction, I realised, was optional. It was voluntary. So, yes, I paused.

I pause now to notice the stars that blink and yet it doesn’t. I look within, and somehow, the events stop rushing. They do not drown me. Instead, they just melt and mix, they float and flow. They become a slow dance of energy, filling the spaces vacant, reacting to emotions and thoughts and, eventually they change me a bit constantly with the newness of the experiences. I find it profound. I find it overwhelming. I just find it. I find me. I pause to notice the way I react. I pre-empt and I am prepared.

This mind, this fickle mind, has been splattered with the colours, these colours, made of experiences. All I had to do was slow down, notice, feel and acknowledge. So, here I slow me down, and feel the swirling colours as the shades splatter my soul, I revel. I see the missed moments in my mind: the bird, mid-flight, the leaf, overturned, the child, pouting, the mother, indulgent, the egos at play, the love at display, and the pulsating life that links it all.

See now, I am covered in colours so brilliant! It’s the exuberance of these slowed down experiences, and see, I am alive!